Petfinder Foundation News

R.O.A.R. to Comfort Frightened Shelter Dogs

PETUNIA-from safe

Give to us through Global Giving from 10/14-11/12 and have double the impact for homeless dogs like Petunia.

Our grant helped Saving Animals from Euthanasia (SAFE) in Tucson, Ariz.., comfort the frightened dogs in its care. And if you donate to us through Global Giving from Oct. 14-Nov. 12, you’ll help twice as many homeless pets like Petunia (above).

For those 30 days, Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. is matching donations to the Petfinder Foundation dollar-for-dollar (learn more about the campaign here).

That means the world Petunia, who was helped by our ThunderShirt grant to SAFE. The 5-year-old spayed Xoloitzcuintli mix is able to stay calm at the group’s adoption events thanks to her Thundershirt, which applies gentle, calming pressure to her abdomen.

Donate to us through Global Giving from Oct. 14-Nov. 12 to double your impact!

Enter Wahl’s Dirty Dogs Contest to Win $5K for Shelter Pets!

Snacks, a Dirty Dogs Contest finalist from last year

Snacks, a Dirty Dogs Contest finalist from last year

Submit a photo of your dog at his dirtiest for a chance to win $5,000 for your favorite shelter or rescue group! It’s all part of Wahl and the Petfinder Foundation’s second Dirty Dogs Contest.

Through Nov. 1, you can submit your dog’s photo via the Dirty Dogs Contest tab on Wahl’s Facebook page. Wahl and the Petfinder Foundation will choose the top 25 photos, and from Nov. 3-19, fans can vote for their favorites. The winner and two runners-up will be announced Nov. 25.

Entry is free and fun! Winners will receive:

• First Place: The grand prize winner will earn a $5,000 grant, plus Wahl grooming supplies, for the animal shelter or rescue group of their choice — as well as a year’s supply of Wahl pet-grooming products and a $100 Wahl gift card for themselves!

• Second and Third Place: Two runners up will each earn $1,000 grants, plus Wahl grooming supplies, for the animal shelter or rescue group of their choice — as well as a Wahl grooming kit and $50 Wahl gift card for themselves!

Enter the Wahl Dirty Dogs Contest now!


‘R.O.A.R.’ to Double Your Donation for Homeless Pets!

Get ready to double your impact for homeless pets! If you donate to the Petfinder Foundation through our Global Giving page from Oct. 14-Nov. 12, Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. will match your donation dollar-for-dollar.

We’re competing against six other nonprofit organizations during the month-long campaign, during which Animal Planet is matching donations to those charities up to a total of $100,000. The matching funds may run out, so give early and give big!

There are also some FREE ways to help us earn cash for homeless pets: by visiting our Global Giving page and telling your friends to visit it and donate. If we get the most traffic to our page and/or the greatest number of donors during the campaign, we’ll win $5,000 bonus prizes in each category.

To double your donation, visit our Global Giving page any time from Oct. 14-Nov. 12.

‘Like’ us on Facebook to follow us throughout the campaign!

Our Grants Will Help Nearly 300 Displaced Pets in Colorado

MELODY _ longmont humane

Melody, a senior Pit Bull, is at Longmont Humane Society, which just received a disaster grant from the Petfinder Foundation.

We’ve sent $6,000 in disaster aid to Longmont Humane Society (LHS) in Longmont, Colo., where staff members have been working tirelessly to care for 190 pets displaced by the region’s deadly floods. This grant follows yesterday’s $3,000 disaster grant to nearby Humane Society of Boulder Valley, which is housing 70 displaced pets. (Read about HSBV’s grant.)

“We are incredibly grateful,” LHS Executive Director Liz Smokowski tells us in a phone call from the busy shelter, which has stayed open to help pets despite being located in an evacuation zone.

Development Associate Carrie Brackenridge tells us that some 1,500 homes have been destroyed and another 17,500 have been damaged by the flooding, which began on Sept. 12.

As with HSBV, the displaced pets arrived when the shelter was already full. “Single-occupancy capacity at LHS is 368 animals,” Brackenridge tells us. “As of Sept. 17, we are housing 441 animals. As a result of caring for evacuated animals, LHS is experiencing an increase in our daily operational costs. Supplies such as food, healthcare items and cleaning products have been in increased usage, and resources such as staff time and utility usage have increased dramatically.”

Shelter staff are fitting in the extra animals wherever they can, housing many in office spaces.

To make matters worse, some of the displaced pets are showing signs of Giardia infection that they may have contracted from the floodwaters. An outbreak of Giardia, a highly contagious intestinal parasite, would threaten all the shelter’s animals, so staffers are disinfecting aggressively and feeding the affected pets special food. “We are really starting to worry that the next chapter in this crisis is going to be medical issues,” Smokowski says.

Our disaster grant will be a huge help. “This funding from Petfinder Foundation will be instrumental in relieving the costs associated with current rescue efforts,” Smokowski says. “We are very grateful!”

Donate to help us save pets when disaster strikes, and Orvis will match your gift!

Saving Animal Victims of the Colorado Floods

Doogie is at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, which just received a disaster grant.

Doogie is at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley, which just received a disaster grant from the Petfinder Foundation.

We’ve rushed $3,000 in disaster aid to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV) in Boulder, Colo., which has been caring for 70 pets displaced by the deadly Colorado floods of the past few days.

The animal flood victims have joined more than 200 homeless cats, dogs, birds and pocket pets that are already being cared for by the always-full shelter, CEO Lisa Pedersen tells us.

“I so appreciate the grant,” Pedersen says. “That will really help.”

HSBV is caring for displaced pets at its shelter and at an off-site location it is managing in conjunction with the Red Cross, Pedersen says. As evacuated families find temporary shelter, some of them are returning to HSBV to pick up their pets.

But even more families, whose homes either were destroyed or are inaccessible because of washed-out roads, may need HSBV to look after their pets for months.

“We are preparing to match these pets up with foster homes, or to provide them with long-term care,” Pedersen tells us.

Donate to help us save pets when disaster strikes, and Orvis will match your gift!

Helping Save 367 Dogs from Fighting Ring


One of the 367 dogs rescued from a multistate dog-fighting ring (Photo: ASPCA)

When 367 dogs were rescued from a multistate dog-fighting ring last month, a Petfinder Foundation-funded truck and trailer helped the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and other agencies save their lives.

“We couldn’t have done it without that equipment,” Shannon Walajtys, IFAW’s animal rescue program manager for disaster response, tells us.

The Petfinder Foundation granted the truck and trailer to IFAW in 2007, just after Hurricane Katrina struck.

IFAW Animal Rescue Officer Jennifer Gardner says the truck proved essential when HSUS asked IFAW to travel from Cape Cod, Mass., to Georgia to assist with the dog-fighting bust.

“The truck was one of three animal-rescue rigs that were integral in our support of HSUS,” Gardner says.


The rescued dogs had been subjected to extreme heat without fresh water or food. (Photo: ASPCA)

The truck and 36-foot trailer were loaded with field equipment and also offered a refuge for first responders. “It was that go-to vehicle that had the first-aid kits, the coolers with water and Gatorade, the fruits and vegetables we brought for responders. It was the place for people to take a five-minute break when they needed to after being on the crime scene,” Walajtys says.

Walajtys says the 367 seized dogs have been moved to temporary shelters and that IFAW will continue to assist HSUS and the ASPCA as needed on the case. Meanwhile, the Petfinder Foundation’s truck and trailer have moved on to their next assignment with IFAW.

“It’s been demobilized and sent to Mississippi,” Gardner says, “so it can be ready and staged during the hurricane season.”


The Petfinder Foundation truck is ready for its next lifesaving IFAW assignment. (Photo: IFAW)

Little Boy Finds a New Home Thanks to Our SNAP-X Grant

Little Boy

Little Boy

Cheryl Conway from Aurora Animal Shelter in Aurora, Col., which received our SNAP-X spay/neuter grant, shared with us how one of the pets who benefited from the grant, a cat named Little Boy, found his new home, as told to her by his adopters:

“Our new little boy caught my heart with his sweet little face. He was eager to be petted and climbed into my arms the moment I opened his cage. The way he grabbed my fingers and pulled them to kiss them was the final straw. He snuggled in my arms, purring and content, and I was sold.

Vicki Medina and her new “Little Boy”

Adopter Vicki Medina and Little Boy

“We came back to visit him for three days. He came home with us the third day. We are happy to have him join our family!”


Vet Gives Two Shelter Dogs ‘A Shot at Life’

Wrangler and Marian

BIVI veterinarian Marian Little with Wrangler on her wedding day

Not only is Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI), a major partner in our Shot At Life campaign to vaccinate 2 million homeless pets — many of its staff members are adoption advocates who found their best friends on Petfinder. That includes veterinarian Marian Little.

Little, who works for BIVI’s Equine Professional Services division in Lexington, Ky., tells us how she came across her dog Wrangler’s photo in 2006 as she was searching for a running buddy from Roane County Animal Shelter in Rockwood, Tenn.

“I was attracted to his photo because he seemed so incredibly cute, yet desperately afraid and disheveled,” she says. “He looked like a mess in his photo, which was out of focus and likely taken when he was cornered in his dog run.”

Little looked past Wrangler’s unflattering photo and went to meet him. (Our One Picture Saves a Life grant program, which, like A Shot At Life, is supported by The Animal Rescue Site, teaches shelter and rescue group staff and volunteers to take terrific photos, so that adopters like Little are smitten right away.)

Wrangler is living the good life.

After being abandoned at a shelter, Wrangler lives the good life today.

Little was instantly smitten with Wrangler, who was about 8-10 months old. They’ve been together ever since, through milestones such as surgeries (Wrangler needed his knees repaired) and Little’s wedding.

Adopting Wrangler turned Little into a dedicated proponent for adoption.

“One decision. One dog. One chance,” she says. “For Wrangler, my decision to adopt meant a chance at everything he’d never known — a stable home, family, and a long happy life he wouldn’t have had otherwise. And for me, the decision to adopt him has meant the world. Every day since, he rewards me with his love, companionship, and unabashed devotion, and he adds a brilliant color to my life that I couldn’t imagine not seeing.”

Wrangler also inspired Little to welcome Gringo, another shelter dog, into her family.

“I thought Wrangler needed a buddy, being alone while I worked during the day,” she says. “Gringo was also on Petfinder — adopted, returned, reposted — and then I found him and adopted him, sight-unseen.

“He’s an odd little dog. But when I brought Gringo home, there was no snarling or growling — he and Wrangler were immediate friends.”

Wrangler (left) and Gringo

Today, Little advocates for adoption with her friends, family and colleagues at BIVI. And her employer has followed her lead by working with us to send weekly all-staff e-mails about adoptable pets.

“Right now, thousands of dogs of every breed, size, color, gender, and personality sit in shelters desperately awaiting just one single chance at a future, just one person who chooses to visit that day and happens to look their way,” Little says. “There’s no reason to buy a dog when every one of those lives, and undoubtedly your own, can be transformed by the single decision to visit a shelter. So make one decision. Pick one dog. Give that one a shot at life. It’s that simple to me.”

Ready to adopt? Look on Petfinder for your new best friend.

Donate to help us save homeless pets across North America, and Orvis will match your gift!


We’re Helping Animal Victims of California Wildfire

Joey is at the Humane Society of Tuolumne County, which just received a disaster grant.

Eight-week-old Joey is at the Humane Society of Tuolumne County, which just received a disaster grant.

We’re rushing $2,500 in disaster aid to the Humane Society of Tuolumne County in Jamestown, Calif., a small shelter that’s working day and night to care for 30 dogs and cats displaced by California’s raging Rim Fire.

In addition to our cash grant, we’ve partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., to send the shelter cat vaccinations, dog vaccinations and pain medicine, which will help pets recovering from spay/neuter surgeries. We’re also working with our friends at Thundershirt to send the calming shirts to the shelter, which will not only help the 30 displaced pets but the 25 homeless pets also in residence.

“We’re so happy [about all the donations],” Shelter Operations Director Doryene Rapini tells us. “We’ve been wanting to buy Thundershirts, but we can’t afford them. This will really help because some of the animals are so scared.”


Our granted Thundershirts will help calm Harvey.

Rapini says one of her staff members has worked for 12 days straight, and that she’s had to hire additional staff to care for the displaced pets.

“In addition, we have called for all available volunteers to help with the increased workload of cleaning, walking, cuddling and nurturing the animals in our care until this crisis is over,” she tells us. “Although at this time we are unsure how long [the crisis] will last, we are currently at day 12 as the fire continues to spread and 4,500 structures are threatened.”

Rapini says our grant was going to make a huge difference: “We’re so small, and our community is not the wealthiest, so getting help is just amazing.”

Donate to help us save more pets when disaster strikes, and Orvis will match your gift!


SNAP-X Grants Save Large-Breed Dogs Nationwide


Dixie with a favorite toy

Here are updates from three shelters who received our SNAP-X spay/neuter grants.

Dixie, a pit pull mix in Florida
Sarah Humlie, managing director of the Humane Society of Pensacola, tells us about a timid pit mix:

“We operate a no-kill shelter in an area where the county animal shelter euthanizes approximately 3,000 dogs every year. A large portion of those dogs are bully breeds and pit mixes, due to the difficulty of finding suitable adoptable homes for those breeds. With the help of this grant, we were able to transfer two pit-mix mothers, with their litters of puppies (14 total!), from the county shelter to our facility, where they were able to receive the time they needed to wean their puppies and be adopted into loving homes.

“One of the mothers, Dixie, was a very timid pit bull-Lab mix. When she first arrived at the Humane Society, she wouldn’t walk on a leash at all, only lie down, and she had to be carried everywhere in order to go the bathroom, play in the yard, or go to the vet. At the time of transfer, she was very pregnant, and within a week she gave birth to nine healthy puppies!

“Dixie stayed with a wonderful foster family while she nursed and weaned the puppies. They brought her out of her shell, housetrained her, and taught her how to play fetch. Now, you will never find her without a favorite toy in her mouth. She is still learning how to walk on a leash, but with her new, trusted owner, she has made remarkable progress. Thanks to funding through this grant, Dixie, only a year and a half old, was able to be spayed and adopted to a wonderful home!”

Dottie, a Doberman in Nevada

Dottie when she was rescued

Dottie when she was rescued

Pat Getter, president of Doberman Rescue of Nevada in Las Vegas, sends us the story of a Doberman who couldn’t stand up:

Dottie, a young female Doberman stray, was picked up by animal control and taken to a Southern California shelter where she wouldn’t get up in her crate. She was sweet and friendly and apparently had just weaned a litter of pups. But if the shelter couldn’t get her to stand, let alone walk, they would put her down. Nothing showed up on the X-rays, so vets didn’t know what to treat. Could it be Wobbler syndrome? Could it be a cruciate [knee] injury? A shelter volunteer got the word out to local rescue groups, who then spread the word throughout the western Doberman-rescue network.

Dottie, smiling today

Dottie, smiling today

“With the wheels in motion to try to find a rescue group to pull her, the shelter gave her time, and Tuesday was now Thursday. By Friday, this black-and-tan beauty was a little stronger. And by Saturday, she was standing when DRNV’s volunteer came to see her and make arrangements to pull her on Tuesday to bring her to Las Vegas.

“The shelter vet joked that maybe she heard all the commotion about being euthanized and she realized she needed to stand up for herself – literally. Or perhaps, she simply had a badly bruised leg – maybe she’d been hit by a car – and needed a few days for the soreness to subside. But when she arrived in Las Vegas to be spayed, she was up and around, walking on all fours, and you would have never known this was the same Dober-girl who, one week earlier, was nearly put down just because she couldn’t get up.

“She is now spayed and ready to find her forever home. We posted her photo on our Facebook page while she was in transport and we already had an applicant by the time she arrived in her new city – before we even posted her on our own website or Petfinder! Plus a possible adopter from our list of already approved applicants. So life is finally looking up for Dottie and she should be in her forever home soon. A meet-and-greet is set for this weekend. All paws are crossed!”

Our SNAP-X grant made Dottie’s rescue possible, Getter says: “We appreciate it more than you can ever know. Our Dobie boys and girls give you paws up for your generosity and support!”

Leah, a pit bull in Wyoming

Leah with her new family

Leah with her new family

Britney Wallesch, founder of Black Dog Animal Rescue, Inc., in Cheyenne, WY, tells us about an emaciated, but still friendly, pit bull:

“Spay and neuter surgeries are by far the largest recurring expense we currently have. By providing money for this purpose, the grant allowed us to allocate other funds to program services that are lower on the priority list but also badly needed. We believe that all animals should be spayed or neutered prior to adoption and by doing so we are helping them to go onto happier, healthier lives with their new families.

“Leah was a 2-year-old blue pit bull-type dog who came to us from a shelter in one of the largest communities in Wyoming. She was emaciated and had stayed too long in a kennel. But, in true bully style, she was all kisses and wiggles for everyone she met. Like many other communities across the country, Wyoming’s shelters are faced with handling an abundance of pit bull and pit bull-mix dogs. As a result, a greater number of them face euthanasia every year.

“Leah was one of the lucky ones and she got to come to Black Dog Animal Rescue for safety. She was spayed thanks in part to funding from the SNAP-X grant and gained weight well. She overcame some initial shyness and became a great snuggle buddy for her foster siblings. Leah traveled to New York State over the summer with her foster family, where she learned to run of-leash and that she loves to swim! Upon her return from the family vacation, Leah was quickly adopted by a local veterinarian and her family. Don’t be deterred by her serious expression — she never did learn to love the camera. But rest assured, she has found a happy, forever home. She was the 134th adoption in our Summer Adopt-a-thon.”

Donate to help us save more pets, and Orvis will match your gift!